Sunday, May 23, 2010
In which I am indignant that no one has thought of this before, and speak a bit too overtly about my subject
Because here's the thing about EQUESTRIAN TRAINING: it seems ever so to depart from the kinds of things that Herbert scholars tend to obsess about. Indeed, it seems in its very existence a big stuck-out tongue to the kinds of issues that tend to get attached to the pious minister of Bemerton. But the reason I like Herbert, and the period generally, is that they're all freaked the hell out in exactly the same ways we are, though the archaic accent may throw us PoMos off. I read Donne, and Crashaw, and all the young dudes of the 17C precisely because they resonate with me in ways that the mannered 18C doesn't, in the way the we-feel-existentially-coherent-enough-for-narrative 18-19Cs don't. So why shouldn't EQUESTRIAN TRAINING, which articulates so well the way poetry responds to these kinds of freakouts, illuminate Herbert? To suggest radical difference between Herbert and, say, me (as a 21C writer), is to be reductive and insulting to both Herbert and me, right? Right?